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Having started at 11:00 am until 14:00 pm on January 19, 2021, speakers provided valuable forecasts and solutions to issues concerning sustainability, the supply chain crisis and innovations in a series of keynotes, deep dives, and panel discussions. Moderating the event and providing opening and closing remarks was Alex Bohn from the magazine F.A.Z. Quarterly.
Neuroscientist Dr. Maren Urner then followed with her keynote speech entitled Change the mindset. The focus of her speech was on a scientific phenomenon called the attitude-behavior gap. Consumers are increasingly stating in studies that they attach importance to sustainability and are willing to spend more money on sustainably produced goods. However, other studies dictate that price is still one of the most decisive purchasing criteria and that actual consumer behavior doesn’t align with their altruistic intentions.
Subsequently, Dr. Maren Urner joined Karin Ziegler from the fashion brand Blutsgeschwister and Lutz Dietzold from the German Design Council to reflect on the behavior of consumer consumption and why people act differently than they intend to. Answering the question of whether real change should come from the individual or the system, Dr. Maren Urner replied: “We need both: an individual change and a systemic one. But the systemic change can only succeed if we all make a start individually. Because, at the end of the day, the system is made up of us as people.”
Government-run certification label Grüner Knopf invited guests Axel Schröder from coffee retailer Tchibo, Hannes Weber from backpack manufacturer Fond Of and Christine Moser-Priewich from Grüner Knopf to a panel discussion. The guests discussed the Green Button, how much progress has been made from a company perspective and the impact of the government scheme on the future of supply chains.
Afterwards, Christian Salewski from research start-up Flip took the audience on a Sneaker Hunt in an effort to support consumers navigating the ambiguous sustainability market on a mission of transparency. For example, he went behind the scenes of one of the industry's most hotly discussed videos, Sneakerjagd, and together with NDR, Die Zeit and famous celebrities exposed the truth behind sneaker recycling and the brands that carry out false recycling practices. He explained, “Consumers who want to be sustainable don’t have it easy right now. They are often unable to tell the difference between green marketing campaigns and honest intentions."
To round off the end of the Fashionsustain conference was the panel discussion Sustainability at the point of sale with speakers Frederik Gottschling from the trade association for the German state of Hesse, Marco Schütte from trade cooperation EK Servicegroup and Tanja Kliewe-Meyer from sustainable brand Like a Bird. Together, they deliberated how the retail sector can pass on its knowledge and contribute to raising awareness about sustainability to consumers and what that could mean for the rejuvenation of city centers.